Thursday, May 3, 2007

Seizing the day.

I made a comment on Sach's blog the other day on this post.

I told her that she should "plan for tomorrow but enjoy today".

I read Nazreen Sansoni's post for the New Year, where she quotes something similar.

I thought.

I came to a conclusion.

I probably should not start so many sentences with the word "I".

I came to another conclusion.

The New Year is a time of reflection for many of us and I've done some, to realise that way too much of my life is spent chasing deadlines and working towards targets, I've let things go too far in the way of planning for the future and investing for tomorrow.

Why is this?

Simple really. For a good few years I've done many things that have been targetted, whether it's learning a new drum part, trying to find a new band, achieving P + L at work or waiting for an upcoming holiday.

The irony is that all these different targets, goals or objectives have actually got in the way of letting me enjoy the current day. Because I haven't set my targets properly, I haven't paid attention to the management speak I learned all those moons ago.

I haven't been SMART. As a young management trainee I was taught that a good target is a SMART one. It was one of the few things that stayed in my head. That means it is:

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Timed.

I've been doing it too half baked for too long. I've sat down with myself in a meeting and said

"I'm going to try to learn some new drum fills" or

"I'm going to work harder" or

"I'm going to spend more time with the kids".

But, those kind of things don't really fit in with much of the SMART principle. The result is that, in many avenues, I have felt as if I am continually striving for something, as if I'm on an eternal quest for something. It's not a frame of mind that is all negative; it's good to look at continual improvement, but it's also vitally important to enjoy the present time.

The "work for tomorrow" mindset is one that is so, so common amongst people in the Western world. We put bucket loads of time and energy into working hard to gain promotion or earn more money, so that we can buy the dream house, have the 2.2 children and live the "idyllic" existence in ten year's time. Many people I see and know in Sri Lanka appear to do the same but also manage to live the day and enjoy things as they are. You may say that the people I am judging things by are not a representative sample of the populace of Sri Lanka. You'd be correct.

This all affects me and the way in which I want to live my life though. The significant change I want to make is to try to enjoy the present more. By setting "Smarter" targets I think I'll do this. I'll know that I have achieved things and I'll get more satisfaction from those things.

PS - I actually wrote this post a few months ago and never published it. That's common for me, I write a lot of posts and file them, occasionally I read one, marvel at my wit and chuck it out for public consumption.

1 comment:

N said...

Sri Lanka = quality of life over material stuff

Of course that equation only works if you have enough money in the bank to be comfortably middle class...me I just wnat a bit of security and then go crazy by following my heart...

btw I do the same thing with posts...have a crap load of drafts I need to write when i have the time